Grassroots Tories will hold a no-confidence vote in Mrs May on June 15, even though she survived a previous vote in December and is immune from being ousted for a year. The vote by members at an EGM of the National Conservative Convention will not be binding, but there would be extra pressure on the Prime Minister to quit if it is passed. In a message to members of the convention, reported by the Conservative Home website, chairman Andrew Sharpe said they would be asked to vote on a motion.
He said: “We no longer feel that Mrs May is the right person to continue as Prime Minister to lead us forward in the negotiations.”
He added it was “therefore with great reluctance we ask that she considers her position and resigns”.
Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee which represents backbench Conservative MPs, has reportedly taken independent legal advice on whether MPs can change the rulebook.
This would stop Mrs May having 12 months before any further confidence motion can be put forward.
Mr Brady held talks with Alan Mabbutt, the senior official at Conservative headquarters, as well as lawyers who are not involved with the party.
But a senior supporter of Mrs May said “any attempt” to alter the rules would be “subject to a legal challenge”, according to the Evening Standard.
This means that Downing Street or a group of Tories acting on behalf of Mrs May would go to court.
The Standard reported Mr Brady was also told that the 1922 Committee is responsible for its own rules.
Mr Brady will meet Mrs May this afternoon to tell her to give a clear departure date and timetable for a leadership contest.
Mrs May previously said she will resign if her Withdrawal Agreement is voted through.
But she has has not been clear on how long she intends to stay if no deal is reached.
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the 1922 Committee, has insisted Mrs May should announce a “road map” for her resignation after the European elections, scheduled for May 23.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage told the Press Association: “I’m amazed she is still there.”